How to mentally prepare for returning to work after a baby

returning to work

Emily Thorpe, author and founder of Happy Working Mum, answers our question on returning to work after maternity leave

Firstly, if you can, it’s a good idea to have a couple of taster days for baby at the nursery or childminder you will be leaving her with to reassure yourself that she will be fine. Talk through her routine, so it will be as close to daily life at home as possible.

I usually recommend arranging to go back to work on a Wednesday or Thursday, to ease yourself (and your baby) in with a short week.

Your body may have changed, so be kind to yourself. Don’t try and squeeze into pre-baby work clothes, which may make you feel self-conscious. Treat yourself to something new that you will feel fabulous and comfortable in.

READ MORE: Choosing the right childcare for your family

Have a run-through of the morning routine, so you know how long it will take to get you both ready, drop your baby off, and get to work. The night before, get your clothes ready and in the morning allow a little extra time, so you arrive at work feeling relaxed.

You could ask the nursery to text you a photo of your little one during the day, so you can see your content baby and feel reassured.

Understand that it may take a while to get back into the working groove – don’t expect too much of yourself on day one. Later on, you may not feel like cooking, so consider getting a takeaway.

Many mums returning to work experience guilt, which is a draining and negative emotion. There are several steps to feeling guilt-free but the first is to appreciate the decision you have made is the right one for you and your family. Don’t be hard on yourself. Be kind to yourself and make your work-life balance a priority.


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